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"Diving Dipper and Other Birds", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album

Artist:
Painting by Mansur (active ca. 1589–1626)
Object Name:
Album leaf
Date:
recto: ca. 1610–15; verso: ca. 1535–45
Geography:
India
Culture:
Islamic
Medium:
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Dimensions:
H. 15 3/8 in. (39.1 cm) W. 10 1/4 in. (26 cm)
Classification:
Codices
Credit Line:
Purchase, Rogers Fund and The Kevorkian Foundation Gift, 1955
Accession Number:
55.121.10.16
Not on view
Frequently praised in Jahangir’s memoirs, the artist Mansur painted many of the natural wonders the emperor saw during his travels. Jahangir wrote of his discovery of the Diving Dipper: "I ordered them to catch two or three of these birds, that I might ascertain whether they were waterfowl and were web-footed, or had open feet like land birds. They caught two . . . One died immediately, and the other lived for a day. Its feet were not webbed like a duck’s. I ordered [nadir al-asr] Ustad Mansur to draw its likeness."
Signature: 55.121.10.16 recto:
In Persian in nasta'liq on rock on riverbank: Work of the servant of the palace Nadir al-Asr Mansur the painter.

Inscription: 55.121.10.16 recto:
In Persian in nastal'iq on upper rock: Jahangir-shahi.

Marking: 55.121.10.16 recto:
Margin number '40' is inscribed in the gilt margin.
Jack S. Rofe, Scotland (in 1929; sale, Sotheby's London,December 12, 1929, no. 147, to Kevorkian); [ Hagop Kevorkian, New York, from 1929]; [ Kevorkian Foundation, New York, until 1955; gift and sale to MMA]
Sotheby's: Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures. London: Sotheby's, New York, 1929. no. 147.

Welch, Stuart Cary, Annemarie Schimmel, Marie Lukens Swietochowski, and Wheeler M. Thackston. The Emperors' Album: Images of Mughal India. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. nos. 43, 44, pp. 170-172, 174, ill., verso pl. 43 (color); recto pl. 44 (color).

Okada, Amina. Imperial Mughal Painters: Indian Miniatures from the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. Paris: Flammarion, 1992. p. 218, ill. fig. 255 (b/w), recto.



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